Spiritual Practices as a Guide for Climate Wellness
Practice #6: Stages of Climate Grief
In 2007, Nobel Laureate Steve W. Running suggested that Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ stages of grief could be applied to our feelings about climate change. His five stages are: 1. Denial; 2. Anger; 3. Bargaining; 4. Depression; and 5. Acceptance. In 2012, Daphne Wysham wrote this blog post about those five stages and added a sixth: Doing the Work.
Read about these stages and consider: where are you? In your personal response to climate change, are you angry? Depressed? What steps can you take to move closer to taking action and “doing the work”?
Now think about others in your community: your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, and members of your religious community. Where are they? Are there things you could do to gently move them closer to acceptance and action? Spend some time in prayerful reflection, carefully considering our shared climate grief.
For more practices, visit our Spiritual Practices as a Guide for Climate Wellness page.
Your Health, Our Climate
Tip #6: Local Plants
If you have a yard, transition to plants, trees, and grasses that are native to the area and require less water. Consider, too, adding native plants that are sources of food; native fruit and nut trees can help supplement your family’s food intake, and you can donate extras to local food pantries to help those in need.
Some plants, too, can help provide food for wildlife in your area—consider adding flowering plants, for example, to support struggling bees and butterflies. Work with your congregation’s grounds volunteers to make some of these changes at your house of worship.
For more tips, visit our Your Health, Our Climate page.
Engaging Your Community
Step #6: Contact Congress
Our elected officials need to know that we are concerned about climate change, and we want them to take action. If you live in Texas, you can find contact information for your Congressional Representatives, Senators, and state officials at the “Who Represents Me?” website. Or here, the USA.gov website will help you call, e-mail, or mail U.S. state and federal elected officials and government agencies.
After you call, e-mail, and write, host a letter-writing party at your home or congregation, and invite others in your community to contact their elected officials, too.
Together, we can make a difference.
For more steps, visit our Engaging Your Community page.